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Nature. 1986 Jun 12-18;321(6071):700-2.

Mediation of mouse natural cytotoxic activity by tumour necrosis factor.


Natural cell-mediated cytotoxic activity in the mouse has been associated with two types of effector cells, the natural killer (NK) cell and the natural cytotoxic (NC) cell, which seem to differ with regard to their patterns of target selectivity, cell surface characteristics and susceptibility to regulatory factors. During studies on the mechanism of action of cytotoxic molecules, it became evident that WEHI-164, the prototype NC target cell, was highly susceptible to direct lysis by both human and mouse recombinant tumour necrosis factor (TNF). Here we show that NC, but not NK activity mediated by normal splenocytes, is abrogated by rabbit antibodies to recombinant and natural TNF, respectively. Thus, the cell-mediated activity defined as NC is due to release of TNF by normal spleen cells and does not represent a unique natural effector mechanism.

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